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Internally, RTEMS uses an unsigned thirty-two bit integer to represent the number of seconds since midnight January 1, 1988. This counter will overflow on February 5, 2124.

The time/date services in the Classic API will overflow when the RTEMS internal date/time representation overflows.

The POSIX API uses the type timet to represent the number of seconds since January 1, 1970. Many traditional UNIX systems as well as RTEMS define timet as a signed thirty-two bit integer. This representation overflows on January 18, 2038. The solution usually proposed is to define time_t as a sixty-four bit integer. This solution is appropriate for for UNIX workstations as many of them already support sixty-four bit integers natively. At this time, this imposes a burden on embedded systems which are still primarily using processors with native integers of thirty-two bits or less.

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